In a prelude to an expected mid-December vote to approve adding softball as a varsity sport in the Cody School District, trustees Tuesday received a rundown of the expected costs.
Compared to the budgets for all sports in the current season, the expected softball budget next season would put it below the two most expensive sports, which are football and track, and just above basketball.
The caveat with the $44,000 amount is it includes $15,000 cost for supplies, which athletic director Tony Hult said would be substantially lower in following years and drop the sport more to the middle of the pack as far as cost.
“I estimated high on all the costs,” Hult said. “I didn’t want to have to come back and ask for more money.”
Back in October of 2018 trustees unanimously approved sponsoring varsity softball in the state for many reasons despite potential costs.
Instead, the key reason was it was something many girls in Cody wanted to participate in as displayed by surveys and from the mouths of soon-to-be high school softball players themselves.
Only trustees Jenni Rosencranse, Stefanie Bell and Tom Keegan remain from that board, but at the time most agreed that while it was important to offer opportunities to all, that adding softball was not necessary for Title IX compliance.
Keegan questioned where the money would come from to fund the sport as the district is already spending about twice on activities as the state funding model suggests.
Superintendent Ray Schulte said it would be from the general fund, like all of the other activities. Cody is the smallest school to offer every activity available in the state.
“Athletics used to be funded (by the state) at a much higher rate,” Schulte said. “What’s to say the new model is correct?”
Hult provided trustees with sports budgets for 2019-2020 season. Many of the more expensive sports also have the highest participation – football had a high of 94 athletes and a cost-per-pupil lower than some other sports. Supply expenses also fluctuate year-to-year:
• Football: $80,031
• Track: $59,688
• Girls basketball: $43,762
• Girls swimming: $39,404
• Boys basketball: $38,980
• Wrestling: $36,551
• Volleyball: $36,222
• Boys swimming: $30,967
• Alpine skiing: $30,607
• Nordic skiing: $26,780
• Boys soccer: $26,308
• Girls soccer: $26,282
• Tennis: $24,031
• Golf: $21,942
• Indoor track: $19,068
• Cross country: $13,308
• Total: $553,931